Immunity v/s Covid-19 - When Ayurveda comes to play!

Immunity v/s Covid-19 - When Ayurveda comes to play!

In Ayurveda, the daily regime one follows is known as Dinacharya.

Hygiene is an important aspect of personal care, and Ayurveda educates us about some of the hygienic elements of personal care. These elements are as follows:

  1. Avoid chemical toothpaste and start your day with a herbal alternative. You can either use herbal toothpaste consisting of dry ginger, thriphala choornam and cloves or rub your teeth and gums with herbal powders containing the aforementioned ingredients.
  2. Bathe at least twice a day, or more if you make frequent trips outside the house. Using chemical-laden soaps for your bath will strip your skin of essential skin flora. It is recommended that you use Snana choornam, a herbal mixture for good skin health.
  3. People prone to sinus issues should try applying Rasnadi choornam on the crown of your head after a bath. This will help to prevent and clear minute sinus issues.

Ayurveda stands on four paramount pillars. These pillars are:

  1. Ahara
  2. Vihara
  3. Oushadha
  4. Kriya

Each Ayurvedic pillar has certain Dos and Don’ts associated with it which needs to be followed for maximum benefit. It’s even more critical to follows these edicts during the current scenario, wherein we are dealing with a global pandemic like COVID-19.

As certain things are forbidden in Ayurveda when it comes to your health, there are other things which are very crucial to follow for a balanced health.

Things to do in Ahara

  1. Acceptable foods o have are mullets, pulses, wheat (sooji or gothambu), Kerala brown rice, honey, bitter-tasting vegetables, fruits, fat-free buttermilk, lemon, amla, etc.
  2. Stay properly hydrated with warm water
  3. Drink a beverage with medicated decoctions of tulsi, shunti, pathimukham, khadhiram, cloves, patta, coriander seeds etc. You can also use Dahashamani. Diabetic patients will need a different version of Dahashamani suited for their condition. Prameha Dahashamani is the best option in such a case. Dahashamni increases the Agni or fire in your system and helps in digesting the Ama and other free radicals.
  4. Drinking hot milk with a pinch of turmeric will help in modulating the complete immune system.
  5. Take 200ml hot water, add 15ml zinger juice + 15ml lemon juice. You can add salt or sugar depending on your preference and health conditions. Drink this beverage at different intervals throughout the day.
  6. Prepare kanji with some medicines like malar, chukk, thippali, malli and add a pinch of indhuppu topped with some small inions fried in ghee.
  7. You can add protein-rich cereals like green gram boiled water as a soup to your daily regimen. You can also use mudhira boiled water as a soup in everyday food.
  8. Buttermilk boiled with karivepila, turmeric and small onion helps with the digestion.
  9. Coriander seeds boiled water can be used as paniyam.
  10. Powdered nellika (amla) mixed with manjal (turmeric) and honey helps to increase immunity in the aged people.

Things to do in Vihara

  1. Get ample sunlight
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  3. Do physical exercise to help improve muscle strength, toning, improve blood circulation throughout the body, and improve metabolic activity. This keeps the body fit and helps fight germs and viruses.
  4. Do breathing exercises. These help in strengthening the lung capacity, maintaining the oxygen level in the body, refreshing the circulatory system. Breathing exercises help maintain the immunity system.
  5. Practice yoga for better health benefits, as it is a fusion of physical, mental and breathing exercises.

Don’ts of Ahara

Avoid the following items:

  1. Dairy and cold food items like ice-cream, curd, cheese and carbonated drinks
  2. Fried and processed food that contains preservatives
  3. Foods containing a combination of processed fats, salts and spices, as they elevate the ‘Vata’ and ‘Pitta’
  4. Products made of maida, sweets, white rice, etc. Roasted rice flour can be consumed as it changes to the Laghu state. Food items like iddiyapam, puttu, kuzhakatta will not cause much harm.
  5. Caffeinated drinks in the evenings because it hinders the sleep cycle.

Please remember to avoid over-eating the foods you are allowed to eat. Even ambrosia (amritam) in excess turns poisonous.

Don’ts of Vihara and Kriya

Avoid the following items:

  1. Smoking affects the health of the lungs and is especially dangerous during current times of Covid-19. Smoking is injurious to health for both active and passive smokers. If someone close to you is a habitual smoker, get them to stop immediately.
  2. Stop the consumption of alcohol. Alcoholism brings with it a horde of diseases what affect not just your liver, but also your pancreas and central nervous system.
  3. Daytime naps- While sleeping might sound as good as anything else, avoid daytime naps. On the surface, it may seem harmless, but in reality, it has multiple ill-effects according to Ayurveda.
  4. Become a couch-potato- Do not stick to just one place even if you are working from home. Regular movement of the limbs is important. Remind yourself to move around periodically at home.
  5. Screen time during the evening
  6. Sleep deprivation- Avoid activities that interfere with your sleep. Getting less than the mandatory 8 hours of sleep puts your immunity system at risk.

Kriyas that help fight against Covid-19

  1. The throat is the pathway for many infections. Gargling with hot water and salt helps cleanse the throat. You can also use medicated water made of ginger, pudina, caraway seeds, etc.
  2. Practice steam inhalation with eucalyptus, tulsi, etc. This helps refresh the nasal route and purify the nasal pathway and prevents infection.
  3. Use nasal drops like prathimarsha nasya after steam inhalation. Ayurvedic doctors advice this to be taken with saina drops or anuthailam.
  4. Practice the oil pulling therapy. To do this, take 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil into your mouth. Do not drink it, swish the oil in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off and follow it with a warm water rinse. Do this once or twice a day.

OUSHADHA

Practice proper Oushadha for good health. The different combinations of Oushadha you can follow are:

  1. Indukantham Kashayam tab -3 tabs twice before/after food
    Chyavanaprasham - morning and night 2 tbsp with hot milk as anupana ( to be avoided for diabetic patients)
    Dashamoolakatutrayam Kashayam tablet 2 tabs thrice daily after food and before bedtime .
  2. Indukantham Kashayam tab -3 tabs twice before/after food
    Agastya Rasayanam -1tbsp after breakfast and before bed
  3. Vettumaran tab with ginger juice 1tbsp is a very good combination in case of fever as vettumaran tab is anti pyritic and antiviral, while ginger is the best antiviral herb.
  4. Kashayam prepared with guduchi and mixed with thippali gives a wonderful result in case of fever and eases respiratory problems.
  5. Kashayam prepared with musta,chukk, grambu, kiriyath, kaatu jeerakam and ginger juice is very useful in increasing the immunity in all ages.

    These above medicines can be given to children but in lower doses with the advice of a physician.
  6. Ashwagandha choornam with milk is very potent medicine to increase the immunity in the aged people.

Some of the special preparations for children are

  1. Chyavanaprasham
  2. Agastyarasayanam
  3. Pannikurkukka leaf preparations
  4. Tulasi juice mixed with honey is the best medicine in case of cold and sinus problems in children.
  5. Shathavari preparations are good for women to increase immunity and it also helps in decreasing the stress.

Ruthucharya plays a very important role in building immunity in people Ritu' means 'season' and 'charya' means 'regime'

In this current ruthu, i.e grishma ruthu, most of us need to balance pitta in the summer regardless of our constitution. Our digestive fire is naturally low during hot weather, and we often experience a decrease in appetite. We should respect this change by eating in moderation. Our bodies will want more liquids when it is hot.

Some Ayurvedic routines to keep away from pitha prakopa.

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Have healthy fruits and vegetables
  3. Avoid junk and unhealthy food

Following these tips, along with the health instructions of the current situation will help

you build better immunity for life.

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